A SYMPHONY OF SLOTHS
27/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
Slumbering Sloth. Slowly Snoring. Circulating Solar Systems. Submitting Solar Beams. Seeing through Souls. Sloth Knows.
An original meditative musical experience featuring DIY electronics, astro-travel and Sloths.
Nominated Best Music/Cabaret and Most Original Concept in the 2014 NZ Fringe Festival,
A Symphony of Sloths makes it’s premiere in Auckland Fringe 2015.
Free/koha, open to all ages.
27-28 Feb at 8pm, The Audio Foundation
Marika Pratley, Lucan Donnell and PiuPiu-Maya Turei with visual design by Timothy Marsh
Physical , Musical , Cabaret ,
Delight in slow-motion
Review by Jesse Quaid 01st Mar 2015
Suspend your sense of time. Relax. This show moves to its own somnolent rhythm.
Bodies litter the space, quietly slumbering. Behind them a small stage dominated by the Slothbot, sitting watching out over the audience with a constellation of red LED eyes. The set up has the potential to be creepy but instead creates a comfortable space for the small audience. feels comfortable.
The programme promises a meditative musical experience and that is exactly what it delivers. Sound is supported both by projected visuals that vary from hypnotic circles and lines to short repeating clips of bemused looking sloths and jungle foliage, and by the performers embracing their inner sloth with deliberate, gentle movement and adorable sloth hats.
As the light dims, one slumbering form wakes. Beginning with the glass harp, the trio of performers layer simple and sustained tones into a rich and textured body of sound. Fricative buzzing and squeaking break the consistency, and the piece evolves into beautifully wacky burbling. The artists have obviously spent quite some time playing with the various instruments, allowing for effectively unorthodox sounds to be produced.
The second movement starts with a slowly crawling sloth. Throughout the piece the performers hold onto their inner slothfulness with admirable consistency; only occasionally does their movement become forced or lost through necessary gestures. Watching the slow, halting movement of Piupiu-Maya Turei as she extricates herself from behind the glass harp is particularly enchanting.
Encompassing a variety of instruments and sounds, this movement again slowly builds from single tones passed from player to player. Although the contrast in sound between the Javanese Gamelan instrument, modified electric guitar and wine glass, all played with a bow, is fascinating the deliberateness feels laboured, and it is a relief when the sounds begin to overlap and layer.
Although the build up and crescendo is entirely satisfying, it seems far too soon that the sounds, the projection, and then the sloths are fading back into slumber. There is material still there to be explored, the opportunity for the sounds to shift again. It has been an hour however, and the sloths have slumped over their instruments leaving an uncertain, but satisfied, pause before the audience applauds.
This delightfully slothful symphony is a show that needs to be experienced. Performed by a trio of musicians, Marika Pratley, Lucan Donnell and PiuPiu-Maya Turei with visual design by Timothy Marsh, it provides an hour of sensory meditation that is totally blissful, leaving you feeling calm, refreshed and inspired to unleash your own inner sloth.
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